Gusmão briefs Horta on his visit to Europe and reaffirms ASEAN bid and economic priorities

Gusmão briefs Horta on his visit to Europe and reaffirms ASEAN bid and economic priorities

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DILI, 20 june 2024 (TATOLI) – The President of the Republic, Jose Ramos Horta, on thursday, held his regular weekly meeting with Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, at the Presidential Palace, where Prime Minister briefed the Head of State on his recent trips to Geneva and Zurich.

A key focus was the PM’s visit to the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) Summit in Geneva.

Gusmão also spoke at the Zurich Forum about building peace in Ukraine, providing not just humanitarian aid but a pathway to resolving the conflict.

In his statement after their meeting, President Ramos-Horta praised Prime Minister’s “very on-point intervention at the Zurich Forum” about peacebuilding efforts in Ukraine.

The President reaffirmed that he and PM Xanana Gusmão remain committed to Timor-Leste gaining membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2025.

He said a formal letter will soon be sent to the ASEAN Secretary-General initiating the nation’s bid.

On the economic front, President Horta acknowledged the need to raise the minimum wage in response to global inflationary pressures. However, he cautioned that this must be implemented through a “strategic plan” by the Government to avoid overly burdening the private sector.

The President also signaled his intention to strictly audit public institutions and review their budget performance: “If there is no return on investment from the annual budget report, I might not approve the 2025 budget for the IP,” he warned.

The two leaders will reconvene in their bi-weekly meeting format in two weeks’ time, continuing the close coordination between the presidency and Prime Ministry that is typical of Timor-Leste’s semi-presidential system.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins 


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